There have been talks of someone purchasing a group of undeveloped properties on Main Street in the City of Niagara Falls. Well, the wait is over! Richard Hastings, a local businessman, is set to sell more than two dozen properties to private equity firm Blue Cardinal Capital for $3.2 million. This deal has been in negotiations for about two years and has finally closed.
Blue Cardinal has holdings in Buffalo, and pools private investments to finance a variety of real estate assets. In the contract, the different companies held by Hastings are changing ownership of 38 parcels. The Managing Partner of Blue Cardinal’s said that the became aware of the city due to various factors, which included the possible removal of a section of the former Robert Moses Parkway, the parkland expansion, and the Niagara Falls Train Station.
The primary interest of the investors was the Whirlpool Bride and the growing Canadian train service that transports commuters from Ontario cities of Niagara Falls and Toronto. This involves the possibility of the U.S. Falls becoming connected to Toronto’s emerging market was also appealing.
They believe that at some point the GO Train will cross into New York, making it a Big Deal for everyone, including New York.
The Mayor admits that it was a huge relief for the deal to finally be done. He feels that it will positively hugely impact the city. He said that if whenever you can take something that has such inactivity and flip it 180 degrees, it has a boomerang effect. If you're announcing one place but then you announce a place that everyone assumed was 'dead' this is stupendous!"
The investors tried to keep the expectations of those involved in check, while they continued to pursue the deal that they saw as having great potential. The firm will attempt to stabilize the properties and eventually undertake ongoing, deliberate improvements. It will be a transformative project.
Plans will continue to unfold over the next decade. They envision the site as a mixed-use community with housing, retail, office space, and other amenities, which involve a variety of income potential.
Hastings started developing properties along Main Street in the 1990s. This was a part of what they hoped would be a larger effort to build up the area and make it a vibrant street. What they acquired made them among the largest property holders in the city.
Most of the properties acquired in the recent deal face Main Street by way of smaller parcels, which spread across Cleveland, Lincoln, Niagara, South avenues. Another vacant parcel of land was acquired in 2002, the In-Rem tax foreclosure auction at 815 Niagara Ave. It was transferred to Blue Cardinal’s limited liability company, Niagara Village. It is clear to see that Blue Cardinal’s is not new to transforming what some thought to be dead and forgotten properties into viable businesses. This is why we think the Main Street acquisition is a ‘Big Deal!’